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Saturday, Jun 03, 2023

Registration Regime for Dealers in Precious Metals and Stones - Industry Representative Feature (8)

Registration Regime for Dealers in Precious Metals and Stones - Industry Representative Feature (8)

Establishment of Registration Regime for Dealers in Precious Metals and Stones Enhances Hong Kong’s Trade Competitiveness
To further boost Hong Kong’s capacity to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, the Government has established a registration regime for dealers in precious metals and stones through amending the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (Cap. 615). The new regime has come into effect since 1 April 2023.

Having a history of nearly 90 years and over 300 members, the Hong Kong Jewellers’ and Goldsmiths’ Association (HKJGA) takes a positive view and expresses its support for the registration regime. The Association believes the establishment of registration regime is beneficial to the industry, as it not only further enhances Hong Kong’s anti-money laundering measures, but also demonstrates the government's steadfast determination to ensure the strength of the financial system. In the long run, the move will reinforce Hong Kong’s competitiveness and bolster the confidence of the business sector.

Mr Chow Kit-shing, Vice Chairman of the HKJGA, points out that, prior to the implementation of the registration regime, the Customs had proactively initiated a close dialogue with the industry and conducted multiple consultations. This allowed the industry to raise its concerns and potential difficulties that may arise during the implementation of the regime.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Customs as they have adopted an open-minded approach in listening to the industry and made suitable adjustments to the implementation details, so as to strike a balance between facilitating the trade and combating money laundering,” says Mr Chow.

Mr Chow notes that despite the industry’s relentless effort against money laundering with self-discipline over the years, the establishment of the registration regime is in line with the global trends. As a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Hong Kong is responsible for implementing anti-money laundering measures. As many FATF members in the region have already established a similar regime, Hong Kong should also keep pace with the international standards. Furthermore, from the industry’s perspective, the registration regime provides clear and explicit guidelines for them to follow in daily operations when handling large cash transactions. This offers the industry greater security in doing business. Looking forward, the regime will further solidify Hong Kong’s leading position as a financial centre in Asia, and enhance the city’s trade competitiveness.

When being asked how the Association will facilitate the implementation of the registration regime, Mr Chow states that the HKJGA will take a multi-pronged approach, such as reminding members to register in time to avoid legal pitfalls; organizing training courses and providing relevant guidelines to the frontline staff of members, to ensure that the staff is well-informed and able to adapt to the new requirements the soonest.
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